The FBI has seized BackPage.com and arrested two of the people who used to own and operate the website. This is not the first time Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin have been confronted by law enforcement officials, and it likely won’t be the last. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: https://angel.co/jim-larkin-1 and http://james-larkin.com/about/
The first time they were arrested courts ruled that Lacey and Larkin’s first amendment rights had been violating, calling into question the legitimacy of former Sheriff of Maricopa County Joe Arpaio.
This time authorities are alleging that Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin knowingly participated in prostitution rings. You see, Backpage.com is a competitor to Craigslist, a website that hosts personal ads for yard sales, car trades, and much more. Everyone knows that their is prostitution happening on sites like this as well, but the creators of Craigslist aren’t being persecuted the same way Michael and Jim are.
Michael Lacey was trying to enjoy his life with his new bride when the FBI raided his home. Lacey and his fiancee had just been married and were planning their wedding celebration when the agents raided their home, guns out, in riot gear. It was like the FBI was taking down Pablo Escabar, but in reality they were raiding the homes of a harmless journalist.
Michael Lacey has hired one of the best attorneys available today. Paul Cambria is an expert on first amendment law, successfully keeping Larry Flynt, famous porn producer out of prison.
“We don’t believe he should be detained,” Cambria said in reference to Lacey’s arrest. “Not for a minute.”
The attorney also explained that believes the removal of Backpage.com from the open web is a clear case of government censorship. The website’s adult section had been removed since January of 2017, and to top it off, Michael Lacey is no longer even a part of the company.
“Any time that the government shuts down a major form of speech,” Cambria said. “It has a chilling effect.”
Who are Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin?
As the owners of the Phoenix New Times, Lacey and Larkin pursued corrupt politician and incumbent Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Arpaio had been targeting immigrants as long as a lot of Arizona residents had been alive. A lot of Maricopa County had no idea what it was like to have a normal Sheriff protecting their community. Instead, they had Joe Arpaio, who was rumored to torture prisoners and commit illegal arrests.
Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey are responsible for informing the public about Arpaio. They may have even played a role in the ending of Arpaio’s reign as sheriff.
Now, at Front Page Confidential, Larkin and Lacey continue their actions against Joe Arpaio. Expanding their scope, not only by preventing Arpaio from sitting in congress but also targeting national level politicians like John McCain and Paul Ryan, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin are a voice for the American people and the first amendment.